Chile Deports 30 Illegal Cubans, Some Caught Joining Leftist Riots

A demonstrator takes part in a protest against the government in Santiago on November 18,
CLAUDIO REYES/AFP via Getty Images

The regional government of O’Higgins, Chile, announced the deportation of 50 illegal immigrants, among them 30 Cuban nationals, after some were caught participating in looting and riots, Diario de Cuba reported on Monday.

While the vast majority of those expelled from the country are Cubans, the group also contained individuals from other communist or socialist governments, including Venezuela, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic. Three Haitians and one Colombian citizen rounded out the list.

Bolivia now has a conservative president after longtime socialist strongman Evo Morales resigned from the presidency and fled to Mexico after evidence revealed widespread fraud in the October 20 presidential election.

Like Chile, Bolivia is now enacting the mass deportation of Cuban nationals, most of which are openly agents of the Cuban government nominally in Bolivia as part of the island nation’s slave doctor system. At least four have been arrested for attempting to pay Bolivians to riot against the new conservative government. Bolivia has also arrested Venezuelans, Peruvians, and Argentines agitating locals to foment unrest.

In October, the government of Ecuador identified several Cuban nationals fostering instability in the country after President Lenín Moreno announced an end to a longtime socialist gas subsidy. Moreno restored the subsidy in an attempt to quell leftist riots.

Chile is marking a month of leftist riots on Tuesday, allegedly triggered by the government of conservative President Sebastián Piñera proposing a hike in subway fares in the capital of Santiago.

According to Diario de Cuba, the Cubans arrested and prepared for deportation from Chile had expired tourism visas or have lost their right to be in the country “upon participating in violent protests that have occurred in the country in the past few weeks.” Five of the deported fall in the latter category, expelled from the country for “looting … and being involved in disorder, attempting assault against authorities and lifting barricades,” according to a Chilean official.

The prevalence of violent rioting in O’Higgins is particularly alarming given its significant distance from the capital – over 1,500 miles south – and its lack of major urban centers. The local government nonetheless noted that the riots “have not spared O’Higgins despite the calls from various sectors, including the citizenry, for an end to this behavior and the implementation of a social agenda that addresses the legitimate demands” of protesters.

For decades, Chile existed as a haven from the Marxist movements that have plagued much of the rest of Latin America, first and foremost Cuba, and elected the conservative Piñera in December. In between Piñera’s current term and his prior one from 2010-2014, leftist President Michelle Bachelet warmed relations with Cuba. Cuba is now believed to operate a significant intelligence infrastructure in the country.

Early this month, the Chilean publication El Libero published an interview with a former Cuban intelligence agent, Enrique García, who engaged in intelligence gathering operations in 1980s Chile and said that Cuba rules operations to infiltrated every level of government in the country out of its embassy in Santiago.

“The activity of Cuban intelligence has as its primary objective [government] penetration,” García said in the interview, “using secret agents and relations of confidence in all institutions of the government, security agencies, armed forces, political parties, media, universities, indigenous groups, unions, etc. – with the goal of influencing events, destabilizing Chilean democracy, and imposing Cuba’s geopolitical interests on the country and region.”

“Part of the work Cuba does is to bring all these young communists – indigenous leaders, union leaders – to Cuba to take classes where they learn Marxism-Leninism, class struggle, etc.,” he added. “That is an indoctrination job that Cuba engages in that is very dangerous, but public. On the other hand, there are clandestine operations.”

Riots erupted in China last month after the government announced an increase in subway fares in Santiago, which leftists argued would contribute to alleged income inequality in one of Latin America’s wealthiest countries. The leftists began burning down buildings, burning subway stations and public transportation buses, and seeking to cause millions of dollars in property damage.

The local urban government implemented a state of emergency and the rioters increased their demands to a full rewrite of the nation’s constitution, in effect since 1980. Piñera ceded to the rioters, announcing a constitutional convention, but the riots have continued with no signs of stopping.

Reports of criminal Cuban and Venezuelan nationals rioting in Chile echo similar complaints from neighboring Bolivia and Ecuador. Bolivia is experiencing leftist riots into the urban center of La Paz, the executive capital, following Morales’ resignation. Coca growers, indigenous groups, and others have marched by the thousand into La Paz demanding Morales be reinstated as president, even though he willingly resigned.

The government of the interim president, conservative former Senator Jeanine Áñez, has arrested at least four Cubans carrying bags full of thousands of dollars in cash, accused by locals of handing out money around poor communities in exchange for property damage. The Cubans claimed the money was for the slave doctors operating in Bolivia – who do not receive a working wage. Following the arrests, the Bolivian government announced it would deport the suspects and another nearly thousand Cuban nationals in the country working on behalf of the Cuban government. Áñez’s government also claimed it was in the process of expelling the socialist diplomats representing Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro and has recognized Juan Guaidó as the rightful president of that country.

In addition to Cubans and Venezuelans, Bolivian police arrested an Argentine member of the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) terrorist group and found evidence he had been hired to teach terrorist guerrilla tactics to violent Morales supporters.

Similar to Chile, Ecuador endured leftist riots in October after Moreno announced an end to a longtime socialist gasoline price subsidy. The policy came into effect at the same time as Moreno announced a withdrawal from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), freeing Ecuador of that cartel’s limits on production. With an increase in production, the subsidy should not have been needed.

Moreno was forced to enact a state of emergency after police found evidence of a “significant number of foreign citizens” paying Ecuadorians from poor communities to blockade streets, loot small businesses, and burn government property. Moreno’s government blamed Venezuela’s Maduro, whose government is run by Cuban agents, for the riots.

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